• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"For what reasons can it be argued that the Second World War was "Total War"

Extracts from this document...


Ioulia Samouilovskaia. 26.09.05. "For what reasons can it be argued that the Second World War was a "Total War"?" Second World War was a horrifying event, which left an even deeper scarf in people's lives than the First World War. It brought far more damage and deaths than the previous war. However in order to answer whether the Second World War was a Total War, we first have to define what is Total War. Total War is the war that affects all of society- not just the armed forces, and that uses all the resources available to be able to win it. It's "the mobilization of the entire society and its resources for the war effort". In this essay several aspects will be investigated, which would help us answer the question. The first thing that comes to mind is the scale of war. It was tremendous. Almost every country participated in the Second World War. There were Europe, USA, USSR, Scandinavia, North Africa, Japan, China and Australia involved. And definitely there wasn't even one country in the whole world that didn't suffer from its effects. The war was fought on several fronts simultaneously, and thus the armies needed as many soldiers as possible. ...read more.


In Germany, Hamburg became the center of war production. And in the years between 1936-1939, 2/3 of all industrial investment went into war-related projects. In every country the factories turned to war production. Even the American industry changed to war production after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. In Russia, strict regimentations, harsh discipline, and long working hours were introduced. Every scrap of raw material and resources went into arms production and nothing else. Adults in the USSR received no food unless they worked in some way for the war effort. Soviet citizens survived on one-fifth of the wartime ration in Britain. In the years of 1942-1944, 2300 new factories were built. Some workers in the country had to move from one part of the country to another to be able to work in an industry. Every single thing in the country was being used. For transport there were mostly trains ("war by timetable") and also new technology was used to get food faster to the front. For example in Leningrad during the years of blockade, the food was delivered in the cars through the frozen lake, there was no other way, as the citizens were cut off from the whole world by the German troops, whose main aim was to starve people out of the city. ...read more.


This didn't take place just in one country; everyone who was involved in the war used propaganda etc. to help the people to deal with such horrible event and to keep their hopes up. And the last thing that I am going to talk about is the number of casualties, which just once again proves us that the Second World War was a Total War. This event saw casualties on an unprecedented scale. For example in World War One it is estimated that a total of 8,500,000 people were killed and 57,470,000 injured. This is already an enormous loss, however the casualties of World War Two were much more horrific! Altogether 55 million died, and more civilians than soldiers lost their lives for the first time, people died from starvation, atrocities and bombing. About 27 million deaths were of the Soviet people; they lost the most than any other country. There were also lots of refugees. Some cities and villages were totally destroyed, especially in Russia. To conclude, from all the examples and factors that are discussed above, I agree that the Second World War was the Total War. Each level of society and every country were affected. Never before was there a war that happened on such enormous scale and caused so much damage. The memories and the pain of this war will always stay in people's hearts. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. How Significant were the Normandy landings in Defeating Germany in World War Two?

    On the other hand, in my opinion, if it wasn't actually for the Battle of Normandy which led to the liberation of France and the Falaise gap and so on, then Germany would of carried on capturing countries until the end.

  2. How important was the war at sea

    This was a total war. THE WESTERN FRONT When the war broke out across Europe in 1914, it was greeted with enthusiasm. Everyone was exited and they thought that the war would be over by Christmas with a magnificent victory.

  1. How did World War II affect the lives of civilians in Wales and Britain?

    It was considered important for wartime morale that people were seen to be treated equally and rationing was seen as a way of doing this. Each person would be given 8p worth of meat, 3 pints of milk, 8 ounces of sugar, 4 ounces of butter or fat, 4 ounces

  2. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    From 1949 the US was no longer nuclear weapon monopolist, because USSR also has invented it. Further the world was divided into two parts, hearts of which became the USSR and USA. Under these events the Cold War took its start.

  1. The Battle of Britain as a turning point in the Second World War.In the ...

    The fact that we had control of the seas was the main importance in this operation though, as if we had not our troops would have stood as much chance, if not less, as the German troops would have had trying to cross the channel after the Battle of the Atlantic.

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    Directly related to each of these issues, particularly the German question, was the problem of postwar economic reconstruction. The issue seemed particularly important to those Americans concerned about the postwar economy in the United States. Almost every business and political leader feared resumption of mass unemployment once the war ended.

  1. With what justification can World War 1 be called a "Total War"?

    One also has to consider the fact that there had been a certain amount of fighting at sea, where the German submarine, the "U9" sank three British cruisers within minutes (on 22 September 1915). This then lead to further conflicts, and battles such as the battle of the Falkans and the sinking of the "Dresden".

  2. Total War, Britain during the Second World War

    There was a general air that perhaps nothing was going to happen after all and there were still a million people unemployed. This was very surprising as industries had been put on a war footing and production had been increased.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work